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tv   BBC World News  WHUT  December 7, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EST

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>> this is "bbc worl." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a widean rge of companies.
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what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> taking no chances. tens of thousands of security forces still control the streets of moscow. new protests planned for the weekend. is this the start of a new, popular movement, or just a burst of frustration? >> hello and welcome to gmt. i am george alagiah. also in the program -- more protests and more deaths in syria. we will not leave until the deal is done. french president nicolas sarkozy and german chancellor angela merkel ahead of europe's crunched summit. it is midday in london, 7:00 a.m. in washington, and 4:00 in
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the afternoon in moscow, where security forces are still patrolling the streets in what appears to be a massive show of force after two days of protests in the wake of the weekend's election, which saw a vastly reduced majority for putin's party. the opposition says he would be out of office altogether were it not for systematic vote rigging. is this the start of a new mass movement? i should just say -- in the last few minutes, we've heard that the former soviet union leader has asked for the results of the election to be annulled. to discuss this with me, a former dissident who was imprisoned by the communists in the 1980's and now works for human rights center memorial. thank you for being with us. you have been a dissident
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from communist times. do you see anything new in the latest protests? >> [inaudible] another new point is that i think, the first time in russian history, russian government lost the war. they always control the process of giving meaning to words and now they have lost it. now, people decide. >> we do not know yet whether this is simply a one-off show of anger, frustration, something that will die away, or whether it is something lasting, something genuine. >> i think it is much more than frustration. people look resolute, rather than frustrated.
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those are new sort of protesters. they defend their dignity. they feel stronger than they did before. they feel freer somehow. the freer they are, the stronger they are, the more they want freedom. >> you talk about them being resolute. if you look to the people who took to the streets over the weekend, some of them were young. some of them were green. of the more nationalist. they do not have one, united idea in the uprisings you have seen elsewhere. >> it is single in my mind. defending their own dignity. this will give them force. remember, in 1991, shortly after the coup failed, i saw a 15-
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year-old girl who was very proud to gain her dignity. i thought, and 20 years, when her generation comes into political life, it will be extremely difficult to deprive her of her dignity. i think the time is now coming. >> ok. thank you very much. thank you. now to some of the other stories making headlines around the world. eurozone leaders are battling to resolve the region's debt crisis. they won a vote of confidence from the u.s. treasury secretary. geithner's presence in europe underlines the intense global pressure on the euro. the french and german leaders have today pledged they will not leave the brussels summit until a powerful deal has been reached. emily reports. >> the latest up for the u.s. treasury secretary, the french
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finance ministry. the mood is somber as the eurozone crisis threatens economies on both sides of the atlantic. >> [speaking foreign language] >> we have the same concerns. that is to make sure this crisis of financial major ends and to find ways to multiply our efforts so there will be a revival of activity, a support for investment, and the creation of jobs. >> geithner was cautiously optimistic about the latest plans by france and germany to build a stronger europe. >> they are encouraged by the progress they are making, not just to put in place economic reforms across europe -- to create the conditions for stronger growth in the future, but to build a stronger architecture for fiscal union. >> this is timothy geithner's fourth trip to europe in as many months, an indication of the alarm in washington. president obam
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last month's g-20 summit, his political future may still be at stake. the british prime minister, david cameron, also needs europe to succeed, but is under pressure from euro skeptics in his party. he wants measures to protect britain's financial services. writing in "the *" the prime minister broadly welcomed the merkel-sarkozy program. while politicians are grappling with the crisis, the clock is ticking towards friday and another make or break european summit in brussels. >> joining me in the studio is the london correspondent for the french paper, "la tribune."
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we heard sarkozy say he will not leave the summit on friday until a powerful deal is done. here is a man who is putting his reputation on the line. >> he is. with five months away from political elections, it's very important for him. what it shows me is that france is not in the driving seat anymore. it is doing what germany is willing it to do. it is following merkel. eventually, paris says -- we better agree. it is better to have a deal than no deal. >> it begs the question, why does he think associated himself so closely with it, why does he think that will be a vote-winner when it comes to the presidential election. >> it's better than breaking up the euro. sarkozy has to get a deal, has to save the euro.
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otherwise, it's really going to look bad if france loses its triple-a rating. on the other way to do that, -- politically, he is weak. he was stronger during the g-20 and all that. >> if you were one of the socialists, the opposition in france, you are thinking this is lovely. here is a right wing president dancing to the tune of the germans. >> some leaders, some anti- german leaders, are using that. he does not want to undermine the euro. how far are you willing to go? >> here is a french president,
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ok, with all the splendor and grandeur that implies, and here is a man who is telling you i'm going to sell you a deal. the deal means we will be punished if we ever go off of the straight and narrow. how do you sell that to an election? >> that's the reason why he has not done this before. the austerity measures might have been a year ago, 18 months ago, when greece started to tumble. it has not been done because it was not popular with the electorate. now there have been measures announced. they are feeling there is no choice. otherwise, the triple a will be lost and so on. it's a massive political gamble for sarkozy now. >> we have often talked over the last few months about this is a crunch meeting.
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how important is this one on friday for france, but also for the european union? >> i'm really worried now about the make or break deal. whether there is a deal or no deal, this is a long-term agreement. saving the euro will come just after that, if there is an agreement from the ecb. that is why france is actually following germany. then, hopefully, the ecb will step in a tree that still a long way -- will step in. that's still a long way. >> i did my best to protect the people, so i cannot feel guilty. those are not my words. those are the words of syria's president assad in response to claims that he took deadly action against his own people. he was speaking in a rare television interview with barbara walters on abc news.
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he dismissed footage of his armed forces storming through towns and cities as distortions of reality. the denials at the end of a bloody year in syria. the united nations says more than 4000 people have died in the country since the uprising began. the arab league has demanded that syria allows observers into the country. syria says it will allow observers into the country, but only if the arab league drops the sanctions on the country. he was challenged about the crackdown in that interview and he said, "they are not my forces. they are military forces that belong to the government. i do not own them. ibm president. i do not own the country, so they're not my forces." mike, are world -- mike, our
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world affairs correspondent. have we learned anything about this man, about this country? >> that will likely be seen as the most significant exchanges. indeed, in the next question he is asked by barbara walters after that, he goes beyond that. he goes on to say that there was no command to kill. i think this is very interesting. elsewhere in the interview, he is pretty much consistent with other interviews and speeches he has given on blaming the violence on armed opponents of the regime. he calls them conspiracies. he has done that before. here, he is challenging the notion, calling it distortion. he says if there have been things that have been excessive, the army is to blame and not me.
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it poses the question, how will the army respond to this? >> on gmt, we have spoken many times to people about syria. the consistent thing seems to be -- if there was a time where he could say he did not control things -- that no longer can apply. over eight months, he has been in power there. >> i'm sure that's the way most people will see it. syria is regarded as a highly regulated police state, close- knit military and political elite. it will be very unlikely that the army could act in such an independent way. nevertheless, there have been some interesting things over the month. in august, president assad himself replaced his defense minister, second in command of the armed forces but we have had defections of the army, of course. those are mostly at the lower
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level, not the senior officers. who knows if that will change now. >> thank you very much. tens of thousands of people across colombia have taken part in protests against the left- wing guerrilla group, the farc. demanded the rebels freed the hostages they hold. many have been in captivity for over a decade. the pakistani president is in dubai being treated for a heart condition. the government has rejected speculation that he would resign. 19 people have been killed by a roadside bomb attacks in the province ofn afghan
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helmund. at least five children were among the dead. it comes a day after almost 60 people died in two bomb attacks targeting shia muslim worshipers in kabul. still to come on gmt -- graffiti after gaddafi. how street art has flourished since the fall of libya's dictator. >> in the united kingdom, the numbers for three-quarters of butterfly species have declined. the most likely explanation is that butterflies are losing their conditional homes. >> the latest stock take of the uk's butterfly numbers is based on data over a decade.
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researchers have been looking at how widespread they are. the study. finding is that 72% of the uk's butterflies have seen their numbers falling. among the biggest decline, a rare species. the population is down by 70%. it is also found in fewer areas. researchers believe the key factor behind a pole in so many species is the lack of or deterioration of habitat. they found it's not just the rare butterflies that have declined. >> the declines are much broader. a lot of the species we're worried about have continued to decline. we have reversed these declines quite well. >> among the success stories, the large blue, once its stake in the u.k. -- once extinct in
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the u.k. >> it is a scene you would normally see in a movie, but this time it was for real. these dramatic pictures show a car plowing into a restaurant in california. miraculously, no one was seriously hurt. it gives a whole new meaning to drive-thru. >> this is gmt from "bbc world news." i am george alagiah. the headlines -- tens of thousands of security forces still patrol the streets of moscow as people protest against the elections. french president nicolas sarkozy and german chancellor angela merkel pledged not to you believe -- not to leave the european crunch summit until a
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deal is done. time now for the business news. what have you got for us? >> u.s. treasury secretary timothy geithner has stressed how important it is for your to fix its debt crisis, not only to the region, but to the u.s. and the rest of the world. china says it will shift its focus on latin america and asia. the stability facility must be doubled in size. the chief economist said financial markets wanted more details on the european rescue fund. >> we are in the heart of the crisis at the moment. the financial markets and politicians in other countries really want to see at least some sort of road map in place as to how the crisis will be resolved. everyone acknowledges that nothing can be resolved fundamentally overnight or this week. what they are planning to do with this measure is -- they are going to bring forward the
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launch of a permanent rescue fund, which was originally planned for mid 2013. they are bringing that forward now to the middle of next year. what they are also going to do is to not get rid of the temporary facility that was in place. they will keep that running alongside it, as well. in effect, it doubles the size of the firepower they have got to deal with the sovereign debt crisis. >> india's parliament has confirmed it is suspending a plan to open up their retail markets. the decision has been put on hold. opposition says it is a victory. the government insist it is only temporary. the ongoing saga -- >> and relentless opposition pressure and concerns on part of millions. where we go from here is not clear. what does a suspension mean? they are talking about trying to
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build more consensus, but a time line for that is not clear. we have to mention that we do not know the details of what's happening to single brand retailers, as well. lots of questions still to come here. it is quite a big loss for the government in terms of landmark reform. >> thanks to the strong mining industry, australia's economy is proving brazilian pit in the last quarter, the economy grew by 1% -- proving resilient. in the last quarter, the economy grew by 1%. pandit of citigroup said the firm will take a charge related to cuts. a very brief flash of what is going on in the markets. holding some of the gains they made early on. the european markets are very much focused on this hopeful
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resolution for the european crisis. back to you. >> thank you very much. thank you. former president moshe katsav has begun a seven-year prison sentence for rape and assault. he was convicted over one year ago, but remained free as he appealed several times. his incarceration has been welcomed by women's groups in israel. a report now from jerusalem. >> one year after his conviction, katsav accepted his fate this morning to begin a seven-year jail sentence. his defiance remained. >> [speaking foreign language] . >> the day will come when the truth will come out. the day will come. >> when a state in prisons a grandfather, the president of a state who has done nothing wrong.
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>> the 66-year-old had resigned from the largely symbolic post as president after allegations that he sexually assaulting two women and raped another while he was a minister in the 1990's. as he was convicted, the judge remarked that no one was above the law. the jailing of such a high- profile figure was welcomed by many in israel, who said it showed the country had a strong legal system. uniquely in the middle east, somewhere where sexual assaults against women is taken seriously. others say katsav should never have been elected president when there were so many rumors about his conduct. the board into relative poverty in iran before migrating to israel, he has gone from the palace to a shared cell, where he is under suicide watch.
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bbc news, jerusalem. >> graffiti and streetcar are often viewed -- in a country like libya, it is seen as an important scene of freedom. such forms of expression were treacly forbidden. since his removal from power, the walls of the capital have been transformed. how long will this new found love for public art last? now a report from tripoli. >> the modern history of libya, the post-gaddafi era. gaddafi is no longer a symbol of year, but mockery -- of fear, but mockery. this artist was imprisoned by gaddafi in 2007. >> [speaking foreign language] >> all i did was bring 22
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posters calling for reforms back then. i wish you saw how we suffered. >> he is moving on. history art speaks of new beginning. he hopes the colors are a source of inspiration. >> during the conflict, you would only see protesters writings on the walls quickly whitewashed by gaddafi security forces. we saw an explosion of graffiti all over the cities. sometimes, it feels like you are walking into a street art gallery. it is everywhere these days. should it stay around permanently? >> it should stay for a while. these paintings are expressing the feelings of the revolution, especially the people. everybody has got a talent. in the old regime, you cannot do this. >> during that certain period,
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we do not mind leaving it. as time goes by, it will not be as reflective as it is today. it would not mean -- in two or three or four years from now, it would not mean what it means today to us. >> it may not be picasso, but for many, these are priceless symbols of freedom and the change that bounds all forms of art street for decades. >> a reminder of our top story on gmt. unprecedented protests in moscow and russia. the soviet union's last leader, mikhail gorbachev, has said the election results should be annulled. police in moscow are still patrolling the streets after two days of protests. more than five under people were arrested yesterday. the government says the protests were unauthorized.
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that's all for this edition of gmt. stay with us on gmt from "bbc world news." there is plenty more to come. >> make sense of international news at >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its global financial strength to ofrk for a wid rrae of companies. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news"teesen kd ws presented by kcet los angeles. presented by kcet los angeles.
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